By Jay Potter

Take flight over Fall Creek, the waterway that carved the iconic gorge that bears its name and is a defining feature of the Cornell University campus, Finger Lakes, and Ithaca, New York.

This summer excursion begins in the Fall Creek Valley Natural Area, gently wandering through a forest with trees over 300 years old. Majestic beeches, hemlocks, and sugar maples found in the valley represent the ancient forests in the Northeast.

The water gurgles over Flat Rocks, where erosion-resistant strata form a nearly level terrace over which the creek flows. It runs along the Mundy Wildflower Garden, before coursing over the cascading waterfall at Hemlock Gorge.

Cornell Botanic Gardens stewards this treasured natural area, keeping it safe, accessible, and conserved for the enrichment and enjoyment of the community and all who visit.

Natural Area

Fall Creek’s Iconic Hemlock Gorge

Take a short tour of Fall Creek’s Hemlock Gorge, with gorge historian Dan McClure.

Fall Creek Valley

This natural area consists of young and old forests on the north and south sides of Fall Creek.

Gorges and Waterfalls

Where to find the gorges and waterfalls of Cornell Botanic Gardens that make Ithaca “gorges.”